FEMA 30% Waiver Calculation

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Per “44 CFR 206.111 – Definitions Financial ability means the applicant's capability to pay housing costs. If the householdincome has not changed subsequent to or as a result of the disaster then the determination is based upon the amount paid for housing before the disaster. If the household income is reduced as a result of the disaster then the applicant will be deemed capable of paying 30 percent of gross post disaster income for housing. When computing financial ability, extreme or unusual financial circumstances may be considered by the Regional Administrator.”

 

FEMA has callously interpreted the above definition to determine that a disaster survivor’s post-disaster housing costs must be more than 30% of gross income in order for FEMA to approve Continuing Rental Assistance. We, those who have been devastated by Hurricane Harvey and friends, are signing this petition, imploring the Regional Administrator to wave the 30% calculation in order to save our community.

 

Flooded Americans continue to pay, among other things, property taxes, mortgage(s), SBA loans, new insurance, HOA dues, electricity, gas, and water at two residences and rent. Although Harvey destroyed the finances and continuity for countless flooded families, we still have the financial obligations of income taxes, health insurance, tuition, childcare, groceries, internet, cable, cell phones, rent and replacement vehicles and several other household monthly costs that are not taken into consideration by FEMA in their current calculation. As insurance carriers and mortgage companies delay or hold funds hostage, we are forced to self-fund our own repairs to the extent we can do so.

 

This disaster has undeniably put us in extreme and/or untenable financial circumstances.  In the greater Houston area, demand has exceeded supply, rents are elevated, and lease contracts demand longer terms than desired. Flooded Americans in Texas are at or beyond our financial breaking point.  We are either paralyzed and can’t repair our homes or are we are facing default on our mortgage notes. We implore FEMA to understand that most of us do not have disposable excess income in the amount of several thousand dollars per month to pay for additional housing costs we never would have incurred outside of this disaster.

 

We respectfully ask FEMA leadership to please waive the 30% calculation so that our families are able to continue to recover from this historic storm.  If FEMA does not waive the calculation or insists on continuing to implement the status quo, the consequences for our community and our families will be catastrophic.

 



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